by Cornelius Coleman II
His return to the individualized and lonesome trappings of private civilian life had become a pendulum of anchorless abstractions: a changed man’s thoughts wandering aimlessly through an alien environment. Sergeant Josiah Betancourt’s homecoming from Operation Enduring Freedom bore no resemblance to the ticker-tape deluges of welcome home parades or the iconic still-life photography that immortalized Lucky Strike puffing American G.I.s’ embracing starry-eyed pin-up girls. These romantic celluloid mirages, for him, always captured that generation’s collective need to simply appreciate survival as the zenith of all joyful moments; the precursor of all great things large and small. Now, Josiah foraged for these sentiments through the thick brambles and thorn-laced briars of combat related stress However, his subsequent findings could only be described as disillusion as he looked directly at the final deposit for a veteran’s service – the confounding disintegration of a once-unvarnished faith.